Why People Reject Advantageous Offers – Non-monotone Strategies in Ultimatum Bargaining
When using the strategy method in ultimatum bargaining, many researchers ask responders for the minimal acceptable offer only implicitly assuming strategies to be monotone. Recent research has shown, however, that subjects decline disadvantageous and advantageous proposals. We report on an ultimatum game video experiment where more than 50 percent of the responders rejected advantageous offers. Proposers and responders acted together in groups of three people each and were video taped during decision making. The videotapes then were content analyzed. Our experimental design provides the unique opportunity to learn from participants’ spontaneous discussions about their motivations for rejecting advantageous offers. Main motives are social concern, non-expectancy of high offers, emotional, ethical, and moral reasons, group-specific decision rules and aversion against unpleasant numbers.
ultimatum game, video experiments, strategy method, content analysis, non-monotone strategies, social preferences
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